There are hundreds of betting strategies out there claiming to beat the casino odds and guarantee success. While they may seem promising at first glance, the fact is you cannot overcome the house edge. Whether you play at a live casino or online gambling sites, the house will always have the advantage.
Below we have identified several of the most popular betting strategies and explained the flaws behind each one. It is important to note that people do win in casino games while implementing these strategies, but their success is a result of luck, not the betting system.
The Gambler's Fallacy is one of the most common theories in the gambling industry. The belief is that the more an expected event fails to occurs, the more likely it is to occur in the future. For example, if a coin is flipped repeatedly and lands on heads five times in a row, the Gambler's Fallacy predicts that there is an increased likelihood of the next flip landing tails. This theory is false.
The Gambler's Fallacy is typically applied to casino games like roulette and craps. Every spin in roulette, and every roll of the dice in craps, is an independent action; the result of one turn has no influence over the result of another. The Gambler's Fallacy was made famous in the Monte Carlo Casino, where a roulette wheel had 26 black spins in a row in 1913. While this was an incredibly rare occurrence, the 27th spin had the same chance of landing red as the first spin.
This strategy is a specific betting system, rather than a gambling theory. The Martingale works by doubling each bet you place until you eventually win. The idea is that statistically you are bound to win eventually, and doing so will reclaim all of your losses plus a profit equal to your initial bet.
For example, if you start with an initial bet of $5 and lose, you increase your bet to $10. Your next bet would be $20, followed by $40. You continue this sequence until you win. Let's say you won after your $40 bet and the payout was 1:1; you would win $80 after wagering a total of $75 ($5 + $10 + $20 + $40), yielding a $5 profit.
The problem with the Martingale System is that a win may not occur for an extended period of time, if it occurs at all. As you can see, the bets add up very quickly. A $5 bet on a game with 1/10 odds of winning would mean you would statistically have to bet $5,115 total to cover your losses and win your initial $5 bet. Unless you have an unlimited bankroll and there is no table limit for a single bet (which there often is), you stand the potential for a devastating loss with the Martingale System.
The Fibonacci Betting System dates back nearly 900 years. This strategy follows the same principle as the Martingale, but is a more gradual approach. Rather than doubling each sequential bet, the following algorithm is used:
Fibonacci Algorithm: 1-1-2-3-5-8-13-21-34, etc.
In this series, each bet equals the sum of the two previous bets. Players continue through the progression after every loss, but jump back two spaces after a win. For example, a $13 win would mean your next bet is $5.
Using the Fibonacci betting strategy, losses are reclaimed two at a time. The system ends when the player has returned to the original bet and won. The Fibonacci is flawed for the same reasons as the Martingale, although the gradual approach helps limit the size of your losses.
The Paroli betting strategy differs from any of the above systems. The Paroli is intended to take advantage of hot streaks and typically results in short terms losses with the occasional big win. Players increase bets by a predetermined amount for a predetermined number of winning wagers. For example, a 1-2-3-6 sequence might be used.
Players should place even-money bets (ones that payout 1:1) and only progress through the system after a win. Anytime a loss occurs, the system restarts. If four bets are won in a row, the player pockets the money and restarts the system. Results from the Paroli system look like this:
Lose bet one or two: 1 credit loss
Lose bet three or four: break even
Win all four bets: 12 credit total win (12:1 overall payout)
In order for this Paroli progression to work, a player must win four bets in a row before sustaining 12 one-credit losses. Mathematically, this is not the case. The actually calculations depend on the game odds, but an even-money bet in European roulette (red/black, even/odd, high/low) for instance would give the ratio of one 12:1 winning sequence per every 13.6 single credit losses.
These are just four common betting strategies, but the list goes on. The house edge is an inherent part of every casino game, and merely altering the way bet on these games will not affect the overall outcome. The best betting strategy you can use is a good awareness of the odds, game rules, and payout ratios of every gambling game you play.